17 gifts to give someone turning 50.
A text from a friend:
Any good gift ideas for a girlfriend turning 50? I’m thinking you might have a wise book in mind or something else you might have received or given someone.
I didn’t realize how seriously I take this. My mind flew right by frivolity, straight to practicality - what does someone turning 50 NEED vs what they might WANT.
Things like, Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut, a probiotic and Robyn’s Go With Your Gut or Thin from Within books came to mind, because you don’t have to live the second half bloated!
Sleepy-time tea or something stronger, like Goop’s Sleep Inner Beauty elixir that, at $60 a pop, confirms you’ll pay anything for a good night’s sleep when the tea stops working.
If you think they might prefer wine as their something stronger, look into what Dry Farm Wines has to offer. They swear their low-alcohol, no sugar, carefully curated collection will not leave you heavy-headed or wide-awake. I might have ordered six bottles and I might only have two left. This, after not being able to really enjoy wine for a few years. Order from them, or search the local wine shop for low- alcohol, no sugar varieties. They sent me bottles from Germany and France. So, start there.
A good quality dark chocolate to replace any sweet oriented around flour and white sugar. Because, bloat. I order Hu Kitchen’s Cashew Butter Vanilla Bean and Almond Butter Puffed Quinoa bars on occasion (your Whole Foods might carry them), but I’ve been turning to Trader Joe’s Swiss Dark Chocolate Hazelnut lately. Altar Eco’s Organic Dark Salted Almond is also on rotation.
A handful of good quality concealers. I wear this, this and this every.single.day. And yes, I’m aware that the chocolate might be contributing to my lack of sleep/need for concealer. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.
But what if she doesn’t know this person very well, and it is a celebration. Maybe I should be more festive. So, here’s what I actually texted:
I’m thinking Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert with a note that says something along the lines of “The second half... may it bring magic.”
She said, “Awesome ideas. I was looking for some sort of aging gracefully type thing that is appropriate for the fifties but they’re all more geared to 60+. I like these better. Thank you!”
I get that.
Fifty is an in-between time. Especially today. It feels younger than it used to seem, but that could be my distorted view because I’m living the 50s and every one who’s ever been older than me says they never feel their age. However, there’s really no reason to think you don’t have another 30 or so years ahead of you. That’s a long time. I mean, 30 years ago, you were 20. Life, on your own, was just getting started.
And, I was just getting started with gift ideas. I found (thoughtful) frivolity in these:
This denim shirt (pictured above), because you are sick and tired of trying different ones. In fact, you’re sick and tired of trying, buying a lot of things. You want quality. You want comfort. You want it to feel good on your body. You want it go with everything. Recommended by Erin Loechner, this one is perfection.
These slippers… because if you want something decadent, pretty and funky, then there’s no time like the present to rock it. These are fit for a princess, even Megan Markle wears hers as shoes.
Or, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion or Devotion by Dani Shapiro... These are books about navigating loss and while this might not seem festive, loss offers no better reminder to embrace what’s in front of us, to appreciate the present, and this is what fifty represents most. The desire to slow time down, to cultivate the art of noticing, capturing moments, thoughtful consideration of how we spend them.
It’s helpful to be part of communities that lift each other up and remind us we’re not alone. I love the This is Fifty podcast. So positive and proactive. Less judgment, more acceptance because 50-ish friends have been through some stuff. Every single one of them. They’re way more likely to encourage than compare, reminding us to not waste one more minute letting the past shape our future. Maybe listen to it with your friend, ask her about her “blue-sky dreams,” share your own and map out a way or two to get there, together.
I’m finding the second half brings with it, it’s own special gift - a deep knowing that it’s all about relationship, and…
What are your favorite frivolous, thoughtful, practical gifts to give?